In-your-face CCP toadies need new name

Just as you had to let the inept kid play in a game because he owned the ball, the SCMP has to allow its editor-in-chief to write an occasional column. We might imagine hardened, normally brutal, subs treating her copy with a light touch, out of deference, distaste, or maybe disinterest – or (the nasty among us might think) spite.  

The result is so bad (aside from being grammatically perfect) that it can be worth reading for the sheer denseness of non-sequiturs, contradictions and derailed trains of thought wrapped up in irrelevant and meaningless blather, all connected by lashings of clichés. Today’s starts like an earnest but vacuous Ted Talk…

Is Beijing really tightening its grip on Hong Kong?

The writing is clearly on the wall and that poses more questions. Is Beijing losing its patience to the extent that it now has to step in and play its part? Why?

After an inconclusive discussion about recent protests and associated official statements, and an inane diversion into Mainlanders’ supposed reaction to a local teacher’s odd take on the Opium Wars, it ends with…

The paradox is, Hong Kong is facing an inconvenient truth in Beijing becoming more hands on at a relatively convenient time as it sees more of the mainland population losing sympathy for the city.

At the same time, Beijing has also realised an equally hard-to-swallow truth – it risks losing Hong Kong’s next generation for complex reasons, but surely that includes a weak local government, either hamstrung by bureaucracy, lacking sensitivity, or, even worse, without the political will to get the job done.

More than ever now, the people of Hong Kong need a determined leadership that can truly bridge the cross-border divide and enhance mutual understanding.

Well, quite. And on the subject of Jack Ma’s newspaper – a pressing question:

This seems to have originally been an SCMP usage, though Reuters, HK Free Press and others have adopted it. It is especially used to describe Starry Lee, Maria Tam, Tam Yiu-chung and (when she was a thing) Rita Fan.

What these folk have in common is that they are prominent Beijing supporters with important-sounding roles (DAB chair, National People’s Congress deputy, etc). Under the CCP’s top-down Leninist system, these positions are essentially ceremonial. These individuals have no input into national policy – they are simply loyalists who parrot the party line.

So ‘heavyweight’ is obviously a misnomer, since they have no influence within the power structure. However, these people are relatively accessible (presumably under United Front instructions), and the media like to quote their ‘insights‘. I would guess the SCMP started to use the tag partly to flatter the bores and to give their empty-vase quotes an air of authority.

Also, perhaps, for lack of an alternative. The more obvious title of ‘shoe-shiner’, while accurate, would equally apply to dozens of nonentities we rarely hear from. ‘High-profile shoe-shiner who gets wheeled out a lot’ would be better, but I guess wordy.

Another unavoidable fact about the ‘heavyweights’ is that they are in fact rather insubstantial. One SCMP headline even said (roughly) ‘the heavyweights are dimwits’.

The more serious CCP loyalists do not seem to be called ‘heavyweights’. Mainland officials certainly aren’t. Hong Kong business-bureaucrat toadies aren’t. And the heftier local pro-Beijing political figures tend not to be. Tsang Yok-sing – who occasionally has opinions of his own – is usually not. Nor is CY Leung, who has a distinctive, if thoroughly obnoxious, personality.

A pro-government ‘heavyweight’, is, in short, a lightweight.

We probably need a new word. It can wait until after Maria Tam goes into retirement.

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15 Responses to In-your-face CCP toadies need new name

  1. Joe Blow says:

    You beat me to it in the very last sentence, Hemlock.
    I was going to write:
    “Calling Maria Tam a heavyweight is no misnomer, Sir.”

    Besides, have you ever had a good look (you had, hadn’t you?) at Rita Fan’s bottom?

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    “It’s not just the central government – many mainlanders have taken offence.”
    ~Commie Com, SCCPMP

    And undoubtedly their feelings will be hurt into perpetuity because they truly care deeply about the goings on in Hong Kong.

  3. Big Al says:

    Continuing from yesterday … as many here will attest to, working as a consultant for government is a painful, soul-destroying and mind-numbing way to make money. So I agree with yesterday’s posters who believe no-one will go respond to the RFP from IED. But following-on from @asiaseen’s post, I do wish some dimwit PR agency wins the job because I really want to see how they would “… help ensure global target audiences are aware of Hong Kong’s economic recovery …”. This would be the same coronavirus-ravaged economy, shrinking 8.9 per cent year on year in the first quarter, the deepest for a single quarter since records began in 1974, and worse than during the Asian financial crisis. That would not just be PR blather, it would be actual magic!

  4. donkeynuts says:

    Golly, it’s almost as if the SCMP runs propaganda in its pages, though it thinks it’s doing stuff to make people read its paper. That sly Jack Ma!

  5. dimuendo says:

    Mr Hemlock

    You are back to using aged articles (Albert Cheng 2013) and yet suggesting, without actually saying, they are current.
    Can you not do better?

  6. It always amuses me to read about how so many mainlanders have supposedly had their sensitive feelings hurt by things that mainland censorship doesn’t even allow them to hear about in the first place.

  7. Roddy the Rodomontade says:

    I am so pleased I left the SCMP when I did back in 2015. Things were bad enough with the catasterisation of the recently-dead Harry Lee; CEO Robin Hui’s “townhalls” to restore morale by saying “we’re all here to tell the story of our lives: the rise of China”, just before he fucked off back to Singapore; the dawn of B&R, then, rather humorously known as “One Belt, One Road” like the lyrics to an ancient albeit decent, Queen song, and many other examples of boot-polishing nonsense.

    But today they are so far up the CCP’s arse that they don’t bother using the definite article when referring to themselves.

    Perhaps grammar doesn’t matter anymore. I remember a time when it did.

  8. asiaseen says:

    To describe the “heavyweights” as politicians is, perhaps, misleading – unless one uses this definition “a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization”.

  9. A Poor Man says:

    Roddy & Joe – You put the Queen song in my head and I can’t get rid of it.

    Fat bottomed girls, you make the rockin’ world go ’round

  10. Kilgore Trout says:

    Whilst it’s a bit of a read-between-the-lines paraphrase, I think Kurt Vonnegut invented the perfect word for the “heavyweights” in his novel, Cat’s Cradle: Granfalloons — which he described as “a proud and meaningless collection of human beings” and wikipedia defines even more appositely as “a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist”.

    Bokonon says it best: “If you wish to examine a granfalloon, just remove the skin of a toy balloon.”

    To denote the slight difference in meaning, we could perhaps go with Granfalloonies.

  11. asiaseen says:

    Maybe call them vvankers. VV as in village vehicle, noisy and of limited capability.

  12. Henry says:

    @A Poor Man
    Isn’t the Queen song “One Vision”
    “One man, one goal, one mission
    one belt, one road, one true religion”

  13. Bob Barker says:

    A new word. How about “Scrithweight”. Scrith is the material used to construct Ringworld, in the novels by Larry Niven. Scrith possesses unreasonable strength, and is unsupported by physics as it is known, but needed for the plot.


  14. Mark says:


  15. max noodle says:

    @ Bob Barker

    How about No?

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